Fellowship on Target for Florida Derby

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Fellowship | Lauren King

Jacks or Better Farm’s Fellowship (Awesome of Course), third behind Mohaymen (Tapit) in both the GII Lambholm South Holy Bull S. and GII Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth S., remains on target for the Apr. 2 GI Florida Derby.

“He’s training good,” reported trainer Stanley Gold. “He breezed in :47 [Mar. 12]. We’ve got time for another work or two if we want. I’m looking forward to the race. The extra sixteenth of a mile is going to help him. He’ll tell me what he needs to do. I left leeway for him to work one or two more times and he probably will work again, maybe not twice, but it all depends on the weather, the horse, and how it’s going. But he’s right where he needs to be.”

Stablemate Awesome Banner (Awesome of Course), meanwhile, will return to sprinting after off-the-board finishes in the Fountain of Youth and Mar. 12 GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby.

“Awesome Banner came out [of the Tampa Bay Derby] fine,” Gold said. “Some will go long and some won’t, and he’s shown us twice without an excuse he can’t go long so he won’t go long anymore. He came back good and went to the track [Tuesday] for the first time. It’s like he never ran. By the three-eighths pole he was done. I think the message is there: forget that dream.”

As for possible targets for Awesome Banner, who won the six-furlong GIII Hutcheson S. and seven-furlong GII Swale S., Gold mentioned the Summit of Speed at Gulfstream in July, as well as the July 30 GII Amsterdam S. and Aug. 27 GI King’s Bishop S. at Saratoga.

“There will be other choices, but we’d be foolish to run him long again. We found out what we needed to find out,” Gold added. “The timing of things, we didn’t want to go out of town. We could have gone to New York and looked for a spot, but we didn’t want to. We still wanted to see if he could go long so we tried him in the Tampa Bay Derby. He was excuse-free. He sat off the pace. We wanted him off the pace, we were on the outside, and that’s what he did. He sat off the pace and didn’t have any dirt in his face. He was free to go when he wanted and he was free to stop when he wanted and that’s exactly what he did. He’ll be a sprinter and hopefully as good as he was. I’m optimistic there.”

 

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